Back in May, 2014, YNN Correspondent Niki S wrote in to tell us about a lesbian comic of interest. I invited anyone who was planning on reading it to write about it and as a result, we’re starting off our Guest Review Wednesdays with today we have a brand new Guest Reviewer here at Okazu! I’d like you all to welcome Foxy Lady Ayame, Ayame will be taking a look at this interesting new European comic that is published by Norma Editorial.
Hello, I’m Foxy Lady Ayame from The Beautiful World, a blog dedicated to miscellaneous storytelling media and particularly in anime and manga.
Eros/Psyche (promotional video) by Maria Llovet is a mysterious comic about a small intern all-girl school. Maria Llovet makes the reader plunge into the cryptic world of “The Rose” through the eyes of Sara. There, fate has it, she’s lead by a scarf to meet Silje, the ‘key’ student. They swear loyalty to one another as blood sisters. She joins happily the bucolic life at the school with uncanny gothic rituals and the strict rules; she studies books written in codes and sits for exams that decide which student is going to have to leave.
Sara’s so absorbed in how free she feels and how close she is to Silje, that she doesn’t mull over the suicide of a classmate, or the need for ‘rebellion’ Vanna had, or her last words before she was expelled. Sara doesn’t notice another classmate, Tamlyn’s, budding feelings for a boy either, something that seems treasonous. And, despite the fact that The Chamber comes again and again to the forefront of events, Sara has no will to explore it further and acquiesces to Silje’s unwillingness to talk about it.
New students come and go throughout the year. Silje reciprocates Sara’s feelings. By the last months of the year, only these two remain, until it’s time for the last test. Sara wakes up to find Silje departing suddenly. Silje tells Sara that she’s the next key student, gives her a guide book, apologizes and says her goodbyes. Perhaps they’ll meet again like Eros and Psyche in the Greek myth Silje tells Sara.
I bought and read the German edition by Tokyopop, which has a striking pink cover with the glossy figures of the main characters on the front and a smaller grey-ghostly version of this on the back cover. The whole comic is in black and white but otherwise it doesn’t remind one of manga very much. As a result, I wonder why it got the bronze medal in the 6th International Manga Award. It has some influences from Revolutionary Girl Utena and S-Class Yuri manga, but that’s it. The atmosphere is wonderfully eerie with the abandoned buildings, the creepy dolls and symbolic scissors. The panels are almost always rectangles, which had me doubting the artist’s talent, but they work well, giving off a cinematic or stop-motion experience.
Unfortunately, the ending is open and leaves the reader with more questions than answers. In her blog, Llovet expresses her desire to continue the story, but we don’t know anything certain yet.
Characters: 6, there’s small fluctuation in feelings
Service: 1, if some nudity counts
If you love emotive stories that trigger your imagination, this one is for you. Otherwise, I’m not sure if EROS/PSYCHE is worth the 12 euros I spent.
Thank you Ayame, for taking the time and effort to read and review this book for us!